CANImmunize app helps parents track vaccinations
By Michelle Paradis, The Ottawa Hospital mHealth Lab
Between feeding, diaper changes, bath and play time, parents are busy with a newborn in the house. Whether you are a first-time parent or adding to your growing family, vaccination tracking is no easy feat.
CANImmunize is a free app that can help you securely manage your newborn’s immunization records from your phone. Having your baby’s records at your fingertips means not worrying about finding your yellow immunization cards before doctor’s visits. Mobile reminders about upcoming immunizations also helps you keep up to date.
CANImmunize provides information on pregnancy and immunization, pain management tips and videos, and answers to frequently asked questions directly to your smartphone. Information comes from trusted sources such as the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC), Immunize Canada and the Canadian Pediatrics Society.
The app began as a conversation in an Ottawa park between a mom and Dr. Kumanan Wilson, a Senior Scientist and Internal Medicine Specialist at The Ottawa Hospital in 2011. The mother, expressing her frustrations with her children’s yellow immunization cards, planted an idea in Dr. Wilson’s mind which led to the creation of a simple but effective way for Canadians to manage their immunization records using digital technology. Similar to mobile banking, Canadians would have access to their family’s records and trusted information on immunizations in a timely manner. So far, CANImmunize has been downloaded more than 200,000 times across all provinces and territories.
Today, parents are being connected to the immunization system in more ways than before. A new project between CANImmunize, the Better Outcomes Registry and Network (BORN), and Ottawa Public Health now allows parents in Ottawa to submit their children’s immunization records to the public health unit through the CANImmunize platform, as early as their baby’s first round of immunizations. Submitting your children’s records to Ottawa Public Health with CANImmunize can help the health unit identify which Ottawa children have been immunized.
Communicating this information will also make registering for childcare and school entry easier, saving you precious time as your kids get older. This feature is available for parents with children ages 15 and under.
This year, CANImmunize users will have access to a new set of features to help easily and securely manage their immunizations between electronic devices. Are you and your baby ready to receive your vaccines but you’ve forgotten your immunization booklets at home? With CANImmunize accounts, your vaccines can be entered into one mobile device and accessed on another electronic device with CANImmunize, allowing you and your family to have more access over your records at any given time. This feature is currently available for Android operating systems and will soon be for iOS and on the web.
When preparing for your baby’s medical appointments, remember to start tracking immunizations early with CANImmunize.
To download CANImmunize today, visit your App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android devices. To stay updated on new features or to order free CANImmunize materials for your family health team or hospital birthing unit, visit www.canimmunize.ca or email firstname.lastname@example.org.